Rendering of the 53W53.
|Type||Galleries, Hotels, Residential|
|Location||53 West 53rd Street
New York City, New York, United States
|Antenna spire||1,050 ft (320 m)|
|Design and construction|
53W53, also known as the MoMA Expansion Tower and 53 West 53rd Street, and formerly known as Tower Verre is a supertall skyscraper currently under construction by the real estate company Hines to rise in Midtown Manhattan, New York City adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art.
The building, designed by Jean Nouvel, initially was proposed to stand 1,250 feet (381 m) tall (the same height as the Empire State Building below its mast) and contain 82 floors. The mid-block building has run into considerable opposition focusing on fears that it would cast a shadow over Central Park during the winter and that its mid-block location would create traffic problems. Financing had been a problem, until October 2013, when the Kwee brothers' Pontiac Land agreed to provide $300 million in equity, supported by an $860 million loan from a consortium of Asian banks.
The building bought air rights from the University Club of New York and St. Thomas Church. On September 9, 2009, the New York City Planning Commission said the building could be built if 200 feet (61 m) were clipped off the top. The City's decision not to approve Tower Verre as proposed was greeted with disappointment and derision by several prominent architecture critics.  The 1,050-foot (320 m) version, was approved by the City Council on October 28, 2009 in a 44-3 vote.
The building's skin would contain a faceted exterior that tapers to a set of crystalline peaks at the apex of the tower. Due to this, the project is said to be one of the most exciting additions to New York's skyline in a generation. Each floor has 17,000 sq ft (1,600 m2) starting with 40,000 sq ft (3,700 m2) of space at the base. MoMA, which owned the building's 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) lot and completed a renovation in 2005, sold the lot to Hines for $125 million in 2007. In September 2014 the air rights were purchased from MOMA, and the building became known as 53W53.
Goldman Sachs was the development partner for Hines on the building, and together they secured an $860 million construction loan from United Overseas Bank Limited. The estimated size of the building is 82-story, 140-unit tower. In addition to the MOMA, the air rights were purchased from the St. Thomas Church for $71 million. The building will be approximately 750,000-square-feet, and condominiums in the building are designed by Thierry Despont. As of March 2015, piling is ongoing and caissons are being placed for the tower as foundation work continues.
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